Monday, June 8, 2015

Valley Forge Casino Opens 20,000sf Beach Club

Fran Hilario Philadelphia Business Journal
The Valley Forge Casino Resort recently opened its newest amenity, a 20,000-square-foot poolside destination, but not due to the pressures brought on by the ever-growing competition in the state's gaming industry.

The casino, over the weekend, opened its Valley Beach Poolside Club, a $600,000 investment it completed in a two-month time span. “We had a hotel pool here that was part of the resort,” said Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Galle. “We put in over $600,000 into the space to launch it and make it a destination so that it was a true poolside club.”

Here’s a list of the big-ticket items:
$100,000 — multilevel deck
$75,000 — outdoor tiki bar
$50,000 — feature wall and stage area
$40,000 — technology package for audio and lighting

The casino's slots revenue for May was $7.4 million, up more than 14 percent year-over-year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, marking the second-highest increase in the state, just behind Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pa.

The Valley Forge Casino Resort's total revenue also increased by nearly 20 percent last year -- a more than $10 million jump that made it the only casino in the state to increase its slot revenue in 2014.
Amenities like the poolside will keep "elevating the experience," explained Galle, who said the casino will continue to create experiences for guests that will draw new people. There are no projections to how much revenue the new poolside would generate.

"We have goals for ourselves," Galle said. "We've yet to see what this can do. It's such a great space ... and it's going to be a big deal in this area."

Entrance is $10 for a day pass and $100 for a season pass. For the first few weeks, all approved Valley Beach tags will be free for the pool's first season. The food and beverage menu is overseen by executive Chef Chris Garrison and includes burgers and grilled jerk chicken.

The poolside club will be open through the end of September. The casino, last February, added a game room featuring high-limit table games, including blackjack, craps and midi baccarat.
The casino-resort's CEO Mike Bowman announced his resignation last week in order to head the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. Galle and Chief Financial Officer Alex Figueras are serving in dual leadership roles until Bowman's replacement is found.

Bowman is replacing Bill Fitzgerald, who stepped down in March to be vice president and managing director of the newly branded Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. The Valley Forge casino opened in March 2012, becoming the 11th casino in Pennsylvania and one of the Philadelphia region's three casinos, which include SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, Parx Casino in Bensalem, and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Chester.

In November last year, a second casino license was awarded to Live! Hotel and Casino, a $425 million, 200,000-square-foot casino that will be located in South Philadelphia near the sports complexes.
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